Youth guarantee and related unemployment issues – FOLM Project

The Youth Guarantee was launched as a Council Recommendation adopted by all EU member states in 2013, in particular as a response to the high cyclical unemployment among youth in these countries. The Youth Guarantee meant, that all the people aged between 15 and 24 would receive a good quality offer of employment, training, education or apprenticeship within a period of four months from becoming unemployed of leaving formal education (being in NEET group – not in employment, education or training). The underlying philosophy of the YG was defined as early intervention with personalized approach. Following this recommendation, European Union member states took steps to introduce such a scheme, but with widely varying national approaches on target groups, timing, the time of intervention used and the types of partnership.

So what are the most important factors influencing the implementation of The Youth Guarantee in UE countries: financial resources, being the part of national policy making, challenges for the youth labour market and heterogeneity of the NEETs.  Also we could mention here the design and implementation features of the YG and the role of the apprenticeship system in the Youth Guarantee as further significant factors.

To be aware of the scale of the unemployment problem, approx. 3,4 million out of 57 million young people aged between 15 and 24 in the European Union, were unemployed (data from Eurostat for the second quarter of 2018, so almost 5 years after the launch of YG).  To have the wider view: the recent data on unemployment of young people in European Union shows (July 2021), that, 2.854 million young persons, under 25, are unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.339 million were in the euro area. The difficulties for youth may be related to structural challenges or market failures. More precisely speaking: labour market segmentation – in which young people are overrepresented in temporary, part-time, non-permanent work; performance of the education and training system – low achievement of substantial section of youth in basic and transversal skills, limited availability of quality work experience.

The FOLM project (From Outdoors to Labour Market), addressed to the NEETs, has become a tool, a springboard for youth to return to the labour market or education.  The project has been successful in 3 EU countries: Spain, Ireland and Poland.  What is interesting, the market situation, unemployment and the group of NEETs itself differ in these 3 mentioned countries.

Good news is that in communication published in 2016, therefore 3 years after the launch of the Youth Guarantee, it was observed that the YG had become a reality across the EU states.  Of course not only initial conditions but also the way member states implement the YG had an influence on its success.

Nowadays, the pandemic situation certainly influenced the youth situation in the labour market, unemployment, education and training. These analyzes are still waiting for in-depth research by experts.  Apart from the negative aspects of Covid-19 pandemia, today we can observe the appreciation of the positive trends that appeared as a proposal a few years ago, but were not appreciated until now: remote learning, switching to online communication, returning to nature and appreciating that we need it, which in turn translates into eco awareness and trends.  In turn, the wider possibilities of remote work made it more accessible to young people who have the necessary skills, but, for example, due to their place of residence (small towns) or the economic situation, they could not move to work elsewhere.

The information about the Youth Guarantee has been based on the document: “Study on the Youth Guarantee in light of changes in the world of work”, prepared for the European Commission, written by Marco Caliendo, Jochen Kluve, Jonathan Stöterau and Stefan Tübbicke with contributions from Claire Dheret, Kari Hadjivassiliou and Francesco Pastore. European Union, 2018.


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